Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil, commonly called Leviathan, is a book written by Thomas Hobbes which was published in 1651. It is titled after the biblical Leviathan. The book concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. The publisher was Andrew Crooke, partner in Andrew Crooke and William Cooke. It is often considered one of the most profoundly influential works of political thought ever written. In the book, which was written during the English Civil War, Thomas Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war — situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes ("the war of all against all") — could only be averted by strong central government.
- Bernard Herbert Baumrin (ed.) Hobbes's Leviathan - interpretation and criticism Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1969
- Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan: Or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill, ed. by Ian Shapiro (Yale University Press; 2010).
- Francis Campbell Hood The divine politics of Thomas Hobbes - an interpretation of Leviathan, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964
- David Johnston The rhetoric of Leviathan - Thomas Hobbes and the politics of cultural transformation, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986
- Graham Alan John Rogers Leviathan - contemporary responses to the political theory of Thomas Hobbes Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1995
- Carl Schmitt The Leviathan in the state theory of Thomas Hobbes - meaning and failure of a political symbol, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008 (earlier: Greenwood Press, 1996)
- Francis Lyman Windolph Leviathan and natural law, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951
- Perez Zagorin Hobbes and the Law of Nature, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009